This Is Not the Time to Make More Concessions to the Ayatollahs

(Wall Street Journal) Jose Maria Aznar - When Iran's clandestine nuclear efforts and their possible military application were discovered more than a decade ago, the international community called - through several UN resolutions - for a total dismantling of Iran's uranium-enrichment capabilities. In the past year and a half, that goal was abandoned by Western negotiators, and Iran was granted the right to enrich. Iran will be, after any further concessions in this area, a virtual nuclear power. It will be able to produce low-enriched uranium and will have the infrastructure to move to military-grade enrichment whenever the Iranian leadership so chooses. When the first negotiations started 10 years ago, Iran had no operational capability to make a bomb. Now Iran has all the knowledge, components and infrastructure to produce fissile material and test delivery systems, and it has the know-how to master weaponization. Obviously, everyone would love to have a "normal" Iran, respecting international norms and behaving cooperatively with other nations. But the reality is that Iran remains the Islamic Republic, with all the ambitions of a hegemonic regional power. Its human-rights record, with one execution every seven hours, is deplorable. Its ties to groups like the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizbullah, to whom Iran supplies weapons, money and advisers, are stronger than ever. This is not the time to make more concessions, but the time to put more pressure on the ayatollahs. The writer is the former president of Spain.

2014-11-26 00:00:00

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